When in Drought

By Bill Maher

California is in the middle of a horrendous drought. Scientists say it hasn’t been this dry since 1580 – a time John McCain says was “very uncomfortable.”

Several cities have basically run out of water, although the big cities tend to have decent reserves. We have water police now. You can only water your lawn three days a week, and if you violate that, you get waterboarded, but there’s no water! If you shower for too long, some guy knocks on your shower door and hands you a ticket. At least he told me he was a water inspector…

Okay, we can all agree it was probably a bad idea to build giant cities in the desert, but now that we have, there are certain things we have to do before we start fighting wars over water. First on the list is ban fracking. Environmentalists talk about the earthquakes and how fracking contaminates drinking water, but the biggest reason not to do it is that fracking takes so much friggin water.

40,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the U.S. since 2011, over half in areas experiencing drought, and three quarters in places where water is scarce. Fracking these wells used 97 billion gallons of water.

California has the Monterey Shale, which sits on top of 600 million barrels of recoverable oil. There’s a big fight between environmentalists and gas companies over building all the pipelines. If we were smart, we’d leave it all down there.

People say, “What about jobs?!” I say, “What about survival?!” Also, Germany’s been building a renewable energy economy, and it’s doing better than our new shale economy. According to The Brookings Institution, from 1990 to 2010, its greenhouse gas emissions per capita fell 26 percent, while its GDP per capita rose 36 percent.